I'm currently looking for a reliable motherboard that's under $100.00. I know that it won't have all the bells and whistles like the bigger boards, but that's the life of a poor student
I currently have the following:
Intel Quad Q8200 1333 FSB
250 GB Sata WD Caviar SE
OCZ 600w PS GamerX something...
I know my gear isn't the best. However, I'm just looking for a decent board that won't give me any bottlenecks etc. I'm also looking for something that has some decent sound, as I don't own an X-Fi or anything like that. As far as the ram in concerned, I'll pick that up later depending on what board I get e.g., DDR2 800, 1066, etc.
Don't expect the best sound from a $100 motherboard, but it should be quite good for that price range.
You'll always have a bottleneck somewhere and a $100 motherboard can be as fast as a $200 motherboard. The difference is that the less expensive one might not overclock as well.
Buy good 800Mhz memory like the G.Skill PI Black and get a Gigabyte EP45-UD3R for $105 after MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... You'll probably be much happier as it's performance is excellent and the onboard sound is better than the less expensive motherboards.